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Istanbul mayor cuts funding to pro-AKP groups as city spending comes under scrutiny

As evidence of controversial spending under AKP officials accumulates in southeast Turkey, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has cut funding for certain state-linked foundations.
Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu leaves a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RC1837A515F0

The misuse of state funds has been a central issue in Turkey since this spring’s municipal elections. Istanbul’s new opposition Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, who won both that vote and a do-over election on June 23, is now following through on campaign promises to audit expenditures and cut wasteful spending.

On Aug. 27 Imamoglu, of the nation’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), announced his administration would cancel the transfer of 357 million liras (about $61.5 million) to a number of controversial state-linked foundations. Much of the funding was directed toward food expenditures and the construction of facilities for one of the foundations, expenses Imamoglu called “unbelievable” during a press conference.

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